Mitch Wong released his first ever full-length project last Friday, February 24, 2023. We took the entire weekend to digest its message, and we have to admit, it's powerful. The Nashville-based Australian worship leader takes listeners on a journey from burial to bloom.
The concept of the album revolves around the theme of surrender – allowing our old nature to die – and the beauty of resurrection, reminding us that death isn’t the end but the Divine doorway into fulness of life and joy. From an early age, Wong felt a passionate calling to write songs. But it’s in recent years that he wholeheartedly embraced this intrinsic desire to spread his music and let his voice be heard.
"I can vividly remember a night two years ago when I couldn’t fall asleep because I felt God downloading all these beautiful song ideas into my head. I was wide awake and inspired like I had never experienced before. My poor wife had to suffer me recording muffled voice memos in bed until around 6AM when the downloads stopped, and I finally went to sleep,” he describes.
That night changed him forever as the songs, lyrics, and melodies told such a beautiful and consistent story. That's when this album, ‘a beautiful ending, a blessed beginning’ was born.
The album opens with ‘Burial’, a song written with Cody Carnes, which celebrates the centrality of surrender and takes inspiration from Jesus’ teaching that to lose one’s life is to find it.
“I felt that it was important and indeed countercultural to begin the album with a death; death to our old ways, our old thinking and our old burdens,” Wong says.
By opening his record with profound words from the Apostle Paul – “to die is gain” – Wong makes a powerful and inspiring statement that no resurrection can come without a grave.
From there, ‘a beautiful ending, a blessed beginning’ expands into songs filled with gospel influences, pop soundscapes, and R&B accents as it approaches themes like loss and grief on songs such as ‘Still On The Throne’ and ‘To Be With The Lord’. The latter towers as the album’s centerpiece, featuring Steffany Gretzinger on a deeply touching and worshipful duet.
"To say that I’m deeply honored Steffany would sing this with me is a complete understatement,” Wong says.
With great sensitivity, he encourages a faith-filled perspective of Jesus’ reign even through seasons of mourning.
“I remember waking up at 2 AM with the chorus in my head one night, I knew straight away that I was supposed to send it to my dear friend [as her] dad had recently graduated to Heaven to be with Jesus,” he tells.
Though ‘a beautiful ending, a blessed beginning’ tackles weighty themes, Wong harnesses music to change perspectives so that we may see these topics as celebrations instead of burdens.
The trailblazing album then shifts into yet another rich layer, offering songs of rejoicing in the fruit that comes from surrender.
“We discover that the Kingdom of God is alive, all around us, blooming within us,” Wong adds, “this album reveals that loss can be redefined as “a beautiful ending” and that the power and the goodness of Christ turns those endings into something new, something greater: “a blessed beginning”.
From its bold opening track to closing with ‘Reputation’, a sonically joyful track leaving us with a taste of godly confidence and bold faith to believe for God to do the impossible, Wong explores some deeply emotional themes with music that compliments and supports the lyrics.
“Music can be a beautiful way of softening the heart and preparing us to receive hope. Although some of the songs cover life’s challenges, the somber tones, and the midnight hours, I pray that the music will be like a steady hand for the listener, a faithful guide, a shoulder to lean on as we walk through the more difficult chapters of life,” the artist concludes.
With ‘a beautiful ending, a blessed beginning’, Mitch Wong helps the Church dream of the brighter promised future we have in Christ, and sets out to remind us of the beauty and hope that exists in each season of life because of Him.